Laser Cut Front End Loader Toy





Introduction: Laser Cut Front End Loader Toy

With a young child enamored with vehicles of all types, I came up with the front end loader design shown when thinking of the perfect gift.  Laser cut from 1/8" baltic birch with a few dowels for axles and pivots and held together with wood glue the result is pretty sturdy.  The assembly measures about 11 inches long, 4 inches wide and 5 inches tall, has rolling wheels, pivoting lift arm, articulated body, and functional 6-bar linkage based bucket tilt mechanism.  Design time in Solidworks was about 25 hours, cut time about 40 minutes, and assembly around 4 hours.  Let me know what you think!

UPDATE:  If you want to the .eps files to cut this yourself, you can get them on Ponoko in a variety of configurations at the link below (for a nominal fee).  I have the original 1/8" baltic birch and modified 1/4" baltic birch plywood plans currently available.  These plans require dowels to finish.

Front End Loader Plans on Ponoko

I have an all-laser-cut option that is a bit more complicated and doesn't quite move as nicely as the dowel version but is all-in-one for those not interested in buying dowels.

All-laser front end loader plans at Wooden Marvels.



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    33 Discussions

    Hello i have tried to access the website but it is blocked for me can u please send them through in a PDF thanks






    I want all three toys plans
    its just one on ponoko

    please help
    best regards

    Would you consider uploading the source files to Nice model!

    why post this on instructables if youre not going to show us how to do it? Shouldn't have to PAY for design files. That's not what this site is about.

    but on the other had, this is freaking awesome. If this was designed in cad, i would definitly do this. My college has laser cutter uses cad files to process cuts.

    1 reply

    Some would say that the photos alone show you how to do it. Giving you the files would do it for you. And yes the whole thing was designed and built in Solidworks. See the added PDF above for an idea of how it was designed.

    Since we are all are a little neurotic here on instructables, let me say that the trend in the heavy equip industry is moving to single hydraulic pistons for the movement of the bucket/integrated tool. Just throwing that one out there..... I can't wait until the ponoko box shows up and I can put this on my desk!

    1 reply

    Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, having looked at a lot of pictures of loaders to make this model, I definitely saw a single piston as being more prevalent for the bucket/tool. However, I just liked the look of two from the bigger loaders and it was easier to do with the limitations of the wood thickness.

    If you do order from Ponoko, let me know how it goes. The successful building of this is pretty dependent on thickness of the stock cut and laser kerf. I've got a supplier of uniform baltic birch in 1/8" that I use with good success and I modified the Ponoko files to work as best as I could but it has been a long time since I used their materials and do not have a recent calibration on the current thickness tolerances. Are you looking at the thicker wood? If so, the resultant model will be a lot bigger. Awesome.

    This is AWESOME! I come from a construction background and have used the real thing most of my life. The big equipment manufactures usually sell scale models of their equipment but they are expensive. You would think that when you spend $500k+ they could give you a die cast scale model of the front end loader you just bought, this is not the case though. This looks like much more fun though to have something you can customize and display. AWESOME JOB!

    The plans are for sale on Ponoko:

    Thanks for reading.

    Cool, Thank god you didn't call it a bulldozer

    I like it! I need to copy this, it looks quite saleable, even if my laser stuff tends more towards fantasy and science fiction normally.

    2 replies

    I question your need to copy this. I'm sure we can reach an agreement on use of the design files.

    I would not be doing it exactly. I don't have Solidworks, I have an Epilog laser engraver that runs off Corel Draw 12. I may even just begin from scratch, and engineer the whole thing. I thought if something were placed here in Instructables that it was fair game to make for oneself, and use as you please. I mean you no harm.